[Foundation-l] Nominating Committee

Michael Snow wikipedia at frontier.com
Sat Jun 25 18:56:14 UTC 2011

On 6/25/2011 1:50 AM, Lodewijk wrote:
> Hi,
> I read from several posts that the process with the nominating committee did
> not work out at all. In the mean time the whole nominating committee (and
> therefore any formal procedure where non-board members, read: the community,
> have any say on who gets onto the board in the appointed seat). I might have
> missed it (probably have) but is there some kind of evaluation of the
> functioning of the NomCom and a good reasoning why it was totally abolished?
> Is it clear /why/ it did not work?
> Birgitte seems to suggest it didnt work because procedures were not
> followed. Earlier (don't recall where exactly) (a) board member(s) seemed to
> suggest that it did not work because they were too slow and did not do their
> job. Both arguments seem to me something that can be solved quite easily -
> by starting to follow procedures or by getting different people on the
> committee.
> Perhaps someone who was there on the board at the time could clarify?
It was certainly too slow of a process, but as Birgitte points out, the 
system itself lacked the capacity to produce the desired result. I 
wouldn't fault the committee members for "not doing their job" at all, 
they contributed to the extent that they could.

What the nominating committee was reasonably successful at was 
formulating criteria and scoring candidates according to those criteria, 
in the manner Milos alluded to earlier. It was moderately successful at 
brainstorming names to consider in developing a list of people we might 
be interested in, but I don't think it should be relied on as the only 
or primary tool to surface potential candidates. This work would be 
enough for a basic screening function, in the same way as reviewing a 
bunch of CVs to see how well they satisfy essential qualifications, in 
order to make up the initial hiring pool for a job. It would need to be 
supplemented by recruiting to make sure the pool is deep enough, and 
indeed bringing in a recruiter did help the process move forward (the 
recruiter was brought on during the same time as Matt's appointment was 
being considered, so wasn't important to that except in that we knew 
parts of the process weren't meeting our needs).

Where the nominating committee really was not able to help much, and 
probably the major frustration for all of us, was in actually vetting 
candidates once an initial pool was developed. And I think that 
realistically, it doesn't make sense to try to do this as a distributed 
group, as the level of interaction just isn't substantial enough. In the 
same way that face-to-face meetings are still an essential part of board 
business, the personal investment required to identify new board members 
who meet specific expertise needs was more than we could accomplish by 
our usual community processes. I also believe the nominating committee 
may not have felt like it could fully step into the shoes of the board 
in evaluating candidates for what the board wanted. So I think there are 
unresolved issues in terms of how much of the process can be delegated, 
and how to more effectively delegate the parts that can be.

--Michael Snow

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